How do I know when (and where) to seek credit counseling?
If you're stressed over credit card debt and don't have the knowledge and resources to handle the situation, it's time to seek credit counseling. If you do a web search, you'll find a confusing array of companies offering help. It's important that you get help from an unbiased nonprofit organization that's committed to helping you, rather than selling you a service. These will be members of the National Foundation for Consumer Credit (NFCC) and accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). InCharge is a leading nonprofit that meets these important criteria. We will provide a free credit counseling session with a Certified Financial Counselor who will help you find the right debt solution for your unique needs.
How long will my counseling session take?
The length of a counseling session depends on the type of counseling required. On average, a budget, credit or housing counseling session (by phone or in person) should take about 30 minutes. A bankruptcy counseling session might take up to an hour.
What should I have available for my counseling session?
To make the session as valuable as possible and to limit the amount of time required, you should have a list of current expenses (what you pay monthly for rent/mortgage, utilities, cell phones, car loans, school loans, food, etc.). You'll also need to know current household income, and it's helpful to have statements from your various creditors.
Will I need to provide my Social Security Number?
When you work with a Certified Financial Counselor, it's important that they have all your financial information at hand in order to understand your complete credit situation and offer an appropriate solution. They will need your SSN, but be assured that all personal information is confidential and carefully protected. By providing your SSN, your counselor can access information needed to verify current creditors and balances. When a solution is agreed to, your counselor will make a proposal to your creditors and we must verify with them your account number and SSN.